Most Americans are still learning about the ancient Japanese healing practice of Reiki. Through touch, a reiki master channels and directs invisible energy fields to stimulate the life force present in all creatures. Music, too, is an invisible force that has the power to inspire, excite, and intrigue. When it’s done right, there’s a mystical quality to it – it tugs you into its world, and it doesn’t let go until the recording stops. Artist and songwriter Janine The Machine knows all about that kind of magic. The Detroit-born, Atlanta-based artist makes songs that shimmer and pulse, lure and seduce, mesmerize and elevate. Janine may be young, but she’s a bit of a mystic herself, and it’s no coincidence that she’s named the lead single from her latest EP after Reiki. Listen to it, and you’re likely to notice some shock waves in the energy fields around you.
Music is in Janine’s DNA. She frequently collaborates with her older brother, artist / songwriter / producer Maejor (who’s produced songs for Drake, Justin Bieber, Frank Ocean, Jhene Aiko, and more). Janine is also a talented creator in her own right: she co-wrote “Trust Myself” and “Girl Gang” on Ciara’s upcoming album, Beauty Marks, and has worked with artists like Teyana Taylor, The Dream, and Tyra Banks.
Janine is a vocalist with enough personality to sing over adventurous production. The arrangement of “Reiki” is a pop fantasia: there’s a thick, rubbery bass synthesizer, a marvelously off-balance, wholly engrossing beat, and an electronically treated vocal suitable for an artist who calls herself The Machine. Nothing does what you expect it to do; everything surprises and delights the viewer. We’re also sharing “Classy,” the single from the 2018 EP High Places – a collaboration with Atlanta emcee JBar that demonstrates that Janine can rap every bit as well as she can sing.
She’s an alluring screen presence, too. With her colorful braids, gold jewelry, and diamond-shaped sunglasses, she looks like a cross between a pop seductress and a high priestess. The camera never strays far from her in the bright, appealing clip for “Reiki” – she floats through an urban garden like something that’s been summoned from another star. The “Classy” clip is a bit (but only a bit) more terrestrial: the clip finds Janine and JBar on the Niewendijk in Downtown Amsterdam. It’s after dark and the signs of the head shops and bars and game stores all glow. It’s a European wonderland they’re inhabiting – and although they’re far from Atlanta, they look right at home.